Monday, July 17, 2017

Are These Toxic Pet Dangers Lurking In Your Yard?

The use of insecticides and pesticides has increased so much over the years, both in residential neighborhoods and public areas like parks.  These are the places we play with and walk our dogs!  Do we have a false sense of security when it comes to these potentially toxic chemicals and our pets?

Toxic pest traps and baits could inadvertently end up in YOUR garden and hard your pets.
I don't want any poisonous stuff ending up in my garden!
We know these substances can potentially be toxic to dogs and other pets. However, we may think it's completely safe to spray insecticides or position rat and ant baits in the front or side yard of our house if our dogs only play in the back yard.

We may not realize how much weed killer, bug spray, and pest control is being used in or near public spaces.  We think parks, walking and hiking paths, and other public spaces that spray pesticides or place pest traps close to where we walk our dogs are safe.

The truth is, substances that are toxic to dogs and cats can end up in places pets can easily get to. Dogs can stick their noses deep into grasses or flower beds where insecticides have just been sprayed.  They could ingest grasses or plants that have been sprayed as well.

Pest baits and traps can also be hazardous to pets.  Even if they're placed where pets are not allowed, they can be inadvertently moved to locations in a variety of ways, even by other animals!  Birds can pick them up if they're lightweight and end up dropping them in another location, like your back yard! 

Ant baits and other pest control items are sometimes moved by animals, kids, even hoses!  They can pose a danger to your dog or cat.
I was shocked to find that the ant bait I had staked into the ground behind a shrub ended up in our driveway!
We have a Carpenter Ant problem so we put down ant baits around the front and sides of our house.  We thought it was totally safe because our dogs are never off leash in those areas of the yard.  

Imagine my surprise when I found that one of the ant baits, which I staked into the ground behind a shrub, ended up on our driveway!  The bait had little teeth marks around it, indicating that a squirrel or other small animal had gotten hold of it.   Fortunately, it was left on the driveway where I could see it.  A squirrel or other small animal could have easily taken it and moved it into the yard where we wouldn't see it, but our dogs would have gotten hold of it!

A friend of ours once threw some rodent bait into their attic because they thought mice or rats were in there.  The bait was in the form of cubes.  The directions said to just toss the bait cubes around in the attic and the offending rodents would eat them and die.  Here's the problem; any rodent that got into the attic could have easily carried off the bait and deposited it in a backyard or anywhere else in the neighborhood.  After I heard that, I resolved never to use that type of pest control product in our home or yard.  It's too risky!

Pest traps and baits can also be inadvertently moved by re-positioning or accidentally kicking a garden hose, a bird picking up and dropping it in your yard, or even being picked up and moved by a curious child.  

If you place this type of trap or bait around your property, check on the traps frequently and check your yard to ensure traps or bait haven't ended up where pets or small children can get to it!  Or better yet, search for natural insecticides and pesticides rather than the chemical laden kind.

Toxic materials like pest traps and baits can inadvertently end up in your yard in a variety of ways.  Keep your pets safe from toxic materials
Pets can get into toxic materials in public places and even in our own yard.  Be aware of your pet's surroundings at all times
Another concern is that your pet might catch or even eat an animal that has ingested poisonous material.  The poison could then end up coming in contact with, or being consumed by, your precious pet.  

Even if you don't use these toxic substances around your home, they could possibly end up on your property or in a nearby park.  Your pet could then be at risk for coming in contact with it.

Keep your eyes open, check your yard often to ensure nothing hazardous has landed there.   Be alert at parks, dog parks, hiking trails, and at the beach for potentially poisonous items.

According to PetMD,  symptoms of toxic poisoning in dogs include:

🕱 Fever
🕱 Vomiting
🕱 Diarrhea
🕱 Depression
🕱 Chronic Anorexia
🕱 Seizures
🕱 Muscle Tremors
🕱 Hypersalivation
🕱 Constricted pupils
🕱 Increased heart rate 
🕱 Lack of coordination
🕱 They have trouble breathing

If you want to know what the most common pet toxin is in YOUR state, you'll find it on the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Conter's article on the Top Toxicity Calls Per State

If your pet has ingested any poisons, immediately call your Vet or the Pet Poison Hotline at 800-213-6680  OR call the ASPCA Poison Control Center at 888-426-4435.


Has your pet ever encountered a poisonous substance in your yard or on a walk?  Tell us about it in the Comments.  We love hearing from you!


  1. Excellent post with so many fine points that peeps might forget. Mom once had a terrible experience with one of her little cockapoos. They had just moved into a new house and did not know that the previous owner had hidden deep under a cabinet in the garage a d-con trap. Little Shamrock found it. She started to hemorrhage all through her little body and looked black and blue everywhere. The vet was amazing. He treated her with lots of meds and Vitamin K. He told Mom to be prepared - the pup might not make it. It took about 15 months for Shamrock to regain her strength fully, but she did survive, one lucky pup who beat the stupidity of peeps.

    Thanks for the great post.

    Woos - Lightning and Misty

    1. GASP!! Oh my God, that is so horrific! I'm so relieved she survived. Thank you for sharing your near tragic story, I think it will help a lot of people. You just don't know what your pet can potentially get into.

  2. This sure is important stuff to share
    Lily & Edward

  3. We don't use any chemicals in the backyard but stay alert for what our neighbors might be putting out. Great food for thought.

    1. Good for you, it's really important to be alert at all times. Dogs are like kids, you never know what they'll get in to and they are FAST!

  4. I also think these kinds of pesticides are responsible for the decline in our honey bee populations, which can have devastating effects on crops and gardens! We avoid all chemicals that we can - the only thing I allow are some ant baits, and they are only in the basement where no pets or wildlife ever go.
    Jan, Wag 'n Woof Pets

    1. I think so too!! We can't go dousing our land with pesticides and not realize the adverse effects it can have on all the other living things around it. I'm glad you keep your ant baits away from the pets & wildlife.